Thursday, 10 April 2014

Weekly Review: The Big Wedding... Seriously? I mean... REALLY?

Apologies for yesterday. All sorts of anger feelings were rushing through me, and when that happens, let's face it, who doesn't want to see a picture of an otter being awesome and funny? Anywho, you'll all be pleased to know that I am feeling much better today thanks to an evening of even more 30 Rock (I am now up to Season 6) and an early night. I am no longer irritable to the point of snapping at random strangers and then bursting into tears on them for no other reason, other than I am just angry and that's the only reason I cry in real life situations nowadays... It's weird, nothing else seems to cause me to leak tears in the actual life that I live in, but stick me in front of any fictional show/movie and I will burst into tears if one of the characters seem even in the slightest bit sad... I don't know what that really says about me, but there you go.

I did take a break from my 30 Rock watching last night to watch a new movie that has turned up on Netflix recently. It came out in the cinemas last year, and I vaguely remembered something about it due to all the big names that were in it. Once I realised what it was, I became quite excited, feeling confident in the fact that if so many amazing actors had got involved, it was going to be an awesome film. 

The film is called "The Big Wedding." Heard of it? 

Look at that cast. Just look at it. Robert DeNiro, arguably one of movies greatest actors, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams... all Gods in their generation of film. Then on top of that, you have Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace (who I will always love, due to my obsession with That 70s Show) and Ben Barnes (who stole the hearts of everyone in the Narnia movies). That, right there, is a solid cast. In my eyes, I love every one of them. You can't go wrong with that cast, you just can't...

Or so I thought. 

I settled in, having not heard any reviews, and thought that I was going to be in for a treat. I have never been so bitterly disappointed in my life. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a rom com, so I wasn't expecting an Oscar worthy film or anything, but I at least expected it to be real or clever or funny or something. 

None of the above happened. Sure, there were moments where I let out something close to a chuckle (although none that I can remember now), and the beginning even seemed a little promising. But from the point that Barnes' character's birth mother comes into the film, not one bit impressed me. 

So, without spoilers, the basic concept of the movie is thus: Keaton and DeNiro used to be married and had three kids, two of which they made themselves (Heigl and Grace) and one they adopted from a lady in Columbia (Barnes). After 20 years of marriage, DeNiro cheats on Keaton with her best friend (Sarandon) and Keaton and DeNiro get a divorce. This is all back story to the movie. It starts 10 years after Keaton left DeNiro and she is turns up for their adopted son's (Barnes) wedding to Seyfried. With me so far? DeNiro and Sarandon are still together and Keaton turns up all happy with this arrangement and clearly over any problems or betrayal she may have felt over the best friend/husband affair betrayal... So far, I'm with it. That could happen. It has been 10 years after all. 

Where the plot twist comes in, bringing in all the "hilarity" opportunities with it, is that Barnes' birth mother is coming from Columbia for the wedding, and she is a very strict catholic who doesn't believe in divorce. Therefore, Barnes never told her that his adopted parents got divorced and so, instead of telling a random woman (who doesn't really seem to be that involved in their lives anyway, and will be going back to Columbia after a few days) the truth about the divorce, they all agree that the best course of action is for Sarandon to leave her home and Keaton and DeNiro to pretend to be married once more. 


And that is pretty much the level of ridiculousness this storyline offers. All the subplots and supporting characters' storylines follow the same level of "roll my eyes to the back of my head until they get stuck there" class. What this all inevitably means is that, within the first introductory scene with each character, you have taken on their ridiculous role and already know exactly how it's going to turn out. I won't give anything away but just tell you the opening scenes with each character and let you work it out for yourselves: 

She walks into a maternity ward to pick up her brother and passes out every time she sees a baby. When she wakes up she feels nauseous all the time. She has left her husband over problems with not being able to get pregnant.

He is a man in his late 20s who hasn't yet had sex because he's waiting for love, only to be introduced to his adopted brother's biological sister who happens to be beautiful and promiscuous. 

Her parents are upper class people who have apparently only just noticed that the man she's about to marry is a "beige" man, and comment frequently on this, yet no one seems to be calling them out on this... will they get away with it for the entire movie? Surely not. 

He is a recovering alcoholic who is dealing with juggling two women in the "hilarious" scenario laid out above. He has been doing so well up to this point and reveals in the first scene that he hasn't had a drink in 10 years!!


I don't need to say anything else. You've all worked out the movie by now. The only thing worse than the complete predictability of the plot, is the ridiculously unrealistic way in which each character responds to this plot. It gets to a point that no matter how serious it gets, every one of them are like "ah well." 

By the time I neared the end,  I found myself screaming "what the hell??" multiple times at the screen, whilst disappearing off for more toilet breaks than I actually needed, just to get away from the madness. 

To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. Mainly because, if I had a cast as strong as the one in that movie, I would have at least tried to make it good. I can't work out how each of them agreed to be in it. Were they bribed? Did someone have their family held hostage? Did they all get invited out to the same party where the casting director got them all massively drunk and then threw a binding contract in their faces and made them sign? Were they all too lazy to read the script before starting the movie? 

And here's the thing, they've all done low key rom coms before. These might not have been given massively good reviews, but I happened to like them anyway. I'm not that fussy when I'm in the mood for that genre: 

Topher Grace: How to Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
I didn't hate it. It had really sweet moments. I'll just say "different laughs" and leave it at that. I loved that shizzle. Also, that man, for some reason, looks sexy as hell when he kisses. 

Katherine Heigl: 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Life as we Know it (although that movie is awesome by everyone's standards) 
All solid rom com movies, in my opinion (I am leaving out The Killers from this, as I didn't know what was going on with that movie).

Amanda Seyfried: ... 
Okay, looking back, I'm not really a fan of any of her "rom coms". Yes, I am including Mamma Mia in that. Sorry, I just can't stand that movie. But I do love her in most other movies she's done. Les Miserables, Mean Girls, Chloe and (dare I say it) I freakin love Alpha Dog for some reason. 

I could list the others, but to be honest, I was getting bored doing it, so, in comparison, you guys have probably already lost interest... but I think I've made my point. I'm really not that fussy with a rom com. I find that the trick to really enjoy this particular genre of movie is to go in not expecting anything amazing. All it's going to offer you is a bit of light entertainment, the possibility of the odd laugh and a couple of moments in which you will clutch your chest and go "awwwww." If that's all your expecting, then you're usually golden. And then occasionally, golden nuggets (such as anything Richard Curtis writes) sneak in and you are blown away. 

However, because my opinion is pretty low before I go into the movie, I find it really has to suck in order for me to not like it... that, or play the entire works of Abba all the way through which, for some reason, is music that makes me violent. 

This movie just moved constantly between predictable and ridiculous all the way through. It didn't make me want to turn it off at any point, (mainly due to my fascination on how much the standard of the movie continued to drop throughout, and I really wanted to see how far they were going to take it... turns out, pretty far...). 

It has, however, done a really good job at advertising the other movies these actors are in, because I now have an overwhelming urge to watch each of them in something that I liked so as to restore my faith in the reasons why I like them. As such, I am now planning on watching each of the movies mentioned above, as well as a selection from the other actors not mentioned. I need to make this right in my head again. I can't have this movie be the most recent thing I've seen of them all...


...I think I've just worked out the reason they all signed on for this movie... I bet all their other DVD sales shot up during this release... that's just sneaky. Very, very sneaky. 

Peace out my lovelies.

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